Formula One, commonly known as Formula 1 or F1, is the highest class of international racing for open-wheel single-seater formula racing cars sanctioned by the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA). The FIA Formula One World Championship has been one of the premier forms of racing around the world since its inaugural running in 1950 (thanks, Wikipedia!).
Max Verstappen has been competing in F1 since he was 17 years old. The Belgian and Dutch racing driver is not just any F1 driver, either – he’s a three-time and reigning Formula 1 world champion. So needless to say, he’s got a pretty good handle on driving.
Verstappen was vacationing with some friends and family in Portugal a couple of months ago. According to The Sun, he flew with the group on three private jets and rented roughly 20 cars from Sixt at Faro Airport.
Sixt, of course, was happy to oblige. There was just one problem. They wouldn’t let Verstappen rent a Mercedes-AMG GT 4-Door.
Why? The Mercedes GT is capable of 195mph, and Sixt’s insurance policy only allows drivers aged 30 and over to rent them. Verstappen is 26. And they didn’t care that he’s got 54 wins, 32 poles, and 98 podium finishes in Formula 1 cars under his belt.
So his manager got to rent the Mercedes and Verstappen had to settle for a BMW 5-Series, which has a top speed of “only” 155mph.
Later on, a Sixt spokesman apologized with a statement:
The employees of our franchise partner in Portugal have only followed the rules that arise for insurance reasons. In order to find a customer-friendly solution on site, Mr Verstappen was provided with another premium vehicle. However, there can be special circumstances that justify a deviation from rules. This is such a case. We apologise to Mr Verstappen. He can rent the car he wants from us at any time. There is, of course, no doubt at all about his driving skills and his experience with powerful cars.
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